English teacher of 13 years announces her departure from Irvine High

For English teacher Joann Garbarini, teaching is more than just covering the curriculum. It’s about building a bond with students and watching them grow. 

Now, after 13 years of teaching at Irvine High, Garbarini is looking ahead to a new chapter in her life.  She plans to teach English and World History at Bishop Union High School in Bishop, CA. 

Garbarini poses at the summit of one of her climbs near Bishop, CA.

“I enjoy how the English subject is so broad due to the human condition,” Garbarini said. “There are no definite answers and I can see students form their own opinions and make evaluations that then transfer into how they see the world.”

Located in the Eastern Sierra region of California, Garbarini’s long-awaited move to Bishop is in part inspired by her love for the outdoors. 

“The town of Bishop is a mecca for rock climbing and mountaineering, so I always knew I would move there eventually,” said Garbarini. “This year, a teaching position became available and everything lined up. Between my passions for rock climbing and mountain biking to mountaineering to hiking, I will now have more time to pursue these hobbies.” 

Garbarini climbs high in the Eastern Sierras.

After graduating with a degree in English from Rutgers University and earning her teaching credential, Garbarini taught in Heritage Middle School and Livingston High School at Livingston, NJ, before coming to Irvine High in 2007.  

“Garbarini brings a balance of academic content and mental wellness into each of her classes,” English teacher Morgan Rosser said. “She is as devoted a friend as she is a teacher and we will miss her greatly.” 

After serving as the English department chair for 10 years, Garbarini will miss her department, the staff she was close with and the students.

“It’s been fulfilling to work alongside so many students,” Garbarini said. “I have had the pleasure of watching thousands of students grow and learn more about themselves–emotionally and mentally. As a teacher, being able to influence future generations is the most rewarding experience.”